Coronavirus crisis | Keep middle seats empty or give 'wrap-around gowns': DGCA to Airlines
All airline services across the country were informed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday to keep middle seats left vacant as far as possible. The instruction has come after the Supreme Court had earlier ordered for an expert committee to be formed to oversee the possibility of leaving the middle seat vacant in flights. A recommendation by the committee was subsequently given to the Aviation Ministry with the DGCA now asking airlines to keep the middle seat empty, if passenger load, seat capacity permits.
The DGCA in their latest directive have also come up with an alternative in case airlines are unable to keep the middle seat vacant asking them to provide passengers with an additional 'wrap-around gown'. The order states that "additional protective equipment like a wrap-around gown of the Textile Ministry approved standards" in addition to a face mask and shield must be provided to passengers while urging that "members of the same family may be allowed to sit together". Domestic flights resumed services across India on May 25 after a two-month hiatus due to the lockdown imposed after the COVID-19 outbreak. Although air services around the nation have resumed, international commercial passenger flights still remain suspended.
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